Lunar Orbiter 1 launched

Lunar OrbiterThe first of five Lunar Orbiter satellites is launched by NASA, on a mission to map the moon and scout out promising landing sites for the Apollo program. In addition, radiation and micrometeor collision detectors fly aboard each Lunar Orbiter to see if the design specs of the Apollo spacecraft will be adequate to protect astronauts. Lunar Orbiter 1 is the first spacecraft to send home an image of the Earth as seen from the moon. To keep it from being a navigational hazard to future spacecraft, each Lunar Orbiter deorbits and crashes into the moon after completing its survey.